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Willingness to Pay for Public Health Policies to Treat Illnesses

Author

Listed:
  • Ryan C. Bosworth

    () (Department of Applied Economics, Utah State University)

  • Trudy Ann Cameron

    () (University of Oregon Department of Economics)

  • J.R. DeShazo

    () (School of Public Affairs, UCLA)

Abstract

As the U.S. contemplates health care reform that may involve more publicly provided health services, it is important to understand the likely patterns in public support for, and opposition to, public provision of treatments that increase recoveries and reduce deaths. We find that support (and willingness to pay for these policies) differs for health threats which are more or less prevalent and when larger or smaller populations are eligible to participate, for different types of beneficiaries, and across policies which represent more or less of a long-term commitment of public funds. Within a stated preference survey, individuals expressed their policy preferences over alternative public health programs, as well as their time preferences over alternative time-patterns for disbursement of potential lottery winnings. Our central modeling contribution is a utility-theoretic specification that permits us to estimate public health policy preferences jointly with individual-specific time preferences. We quantify a variety of dimensions of significant heterogeneity but draw particular attention to the prevalence of (a.) an unwillingness to pay for these policies via income tax increases regardless of their benefits, and (b.) a very strong pattern of self-interest in determining support for different types of policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Ryan C. Bosworth & Trudy Ann Cameron & J.R. DeShazo, 2010. "Willingness to Pay for Public Health Policies to Treat Illnesses," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2010-10, University of Oregon Economics Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:ore:uoecwp:2010-10
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    File URL: http://economics.uoregon.edu/papers/UO-2010-10_Bosworth_Cameron_DeShazo_WTP_Public_Treatment.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:taf:oabmxx:v:3:y:2016:i:1:p:1227232 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Hammitt, James K. & Haninger, Kevin, 2017. "Valuing nonfatal health risk as a function of illness severity and duration: Benefit transfer using QALYs," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 17-38.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public Health Policies; Public Provision; Health Care; Treatment; Individual Time Preferences;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • H42 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Private Goods
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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